All posts tagged: Fashion

Gammelyn's Daughter

The dreamlike fairytales of Kirsty Mitchell

For Kirsty Mitchell, photography can be an escape hatch. “The basis of that was reality was awful and I needed to create something that allowed me to block everything out. In 2007, my life was at a bit of a crossroads. I’d been unwell and found myself becoming quite introverted. I picked up a camera and it became this voice for me when I couldn’t talk about what I was going through.” When her mother Maureen was diagnosed with a brain tumour, the medium’s capacity for transformation helped her deal with the trauma of losing a parent. She began her project, Wonderland, in the summer of 2009, as a small project to help her make sense of her grief. “The only way I could deal with it was [through] photography. It was this absolute rage that went through me and I threw myself into something obsessively. I started taking hundreds of photographs constantly, to lose myself in something other than what I was dealing with.” Comprised of otherworldly images that can feel like fragments from a …


The surreal dreamscape of Ukrainian photographic duo Synchrodogs

Since Synchrodogs featured in our September 2012 issue, the Ukrainian photography duo have continued to gather momentum. Commissions for Tania Shcheglova and Roman Noven include Croatian eyewear design Sheriff & Cherry, a shoot for New York Magazine, and a portrait assignment for Dazed & Confused photographing their compatriots, the protest group Femen. Their recent project, Reverie sleep, sees Synchrodogs explore their dreams – the space between wake and sleep that is both familiar and remote. “The project deals with the stage of non-rapid eye movement sleep, during which some people may experience hypnagogic hallucinations caused by the natural process of falling asleep,” they explain. “Experimenting with those lucid dreaming techniques, we usually wake ourselves up in the middle of the night to make a note of what we have just seen, gathering our dreams to be staged afterwards.” This project has a distinctly surreal feel, but the duo’s work always builds on the uncanny and the strange, often including naked or semi-clothed figures hiding their faces and holding contorted poses. Their models are often shown against …


The Polish student photographer breaking into the fashion industry before she’s even graduated

Most fashion photography students dream of shooting with top agencies, but few can say they’ve achieved this while still at art college. Digital photography student Angelika Wierzbicka can, though. She is graduating from Ravensbourne this summer and has been photographing models from agencies including Next, IMG, Select, Models1, Storm and Premier, building up an impressive collection of editorial tearsheets in just a few years. Originally from Poland, the 21-year-old has produced work for Coco Magazine, Hunger TV and Material Girl magazine. “Fashion is really important to me, not only in photography but also in my personal life,” she says. “I love shooting fashion because I get to create beautiful imagery that doesn’t exist in real life; it’s almost like a dream. Some images can look so simple and effortless that people don’t realise how much work has gone into making them.” The shoot for Material Girl came about after Wierzbicka got in touch with stylist Savannah Baker. Together they created a series of images that riff on different shades of pink and other complementary pastel colours. …


The British fashion photographer equally at home in Preston and Paris

Effortlessly moving between documentary and fashion, editorial and commercial assignments, Jamie Hawkesworth is a photographer who is steadily making a name for himself. On the one hand, he is quite at home documenting passers-by in the grade II-listed Preston Bus Station, the future of which hangs in the balance, or photographing a British polo contest at Cowdray Park, as he did for Man About Town. On the other, he has shot campaigns for designers Céline and Marc Jacobs, and has been featured in magazines such as i-D and Paris Vogue. In light of this impressive CV, Hawkesworth’s ability to turn his hand to whatever comes his way seems to know no bounds. Self Publish Be Happy’s Bruno Ceschel, who nominated Hawkesworth for our One to Watch issue in January 2014, explains what drew him to the photographer’s work: “Jamie has this kind of romantic, street photography aesthetic. Stylistically, he’s the younger brother of photographer Alasdair McLellan, in terms of his interest in documentary aesthetics and a certain kind of casting. Jamie often photographs working-class teenagers, and in his personal work Alasdair photographed young …


Shooting Stars: Capturing the “arrogance and vulnerability” of the famous


Mathieu César’s aesthetic may be classic, but the approach is resolutely contemporary, and that mix has seduced some of the biggest players in the fashion world – from the former editor of Vogue Paris, Carine Roitfeld to Christian Lacroix, the woman behind the French fashion label. “Referencing past masters of the fashion image in the simplicity of his contrasted composition, Mathieu César subverts the classical genre by capturing a contemporary generation of beautiful and damned subjects in sometimes surreal scenes that somehow manage to feel uncontrived,” says another fan, Anne Bourgeois-Vignon, creative content director at Nowness. “His photographs of models, musicians and assorted cool kids flirt with emotion and raw beauty, and his subjects blend arrogance and vulnerability.” A former hairdresser, César got his break with a short film he made of his brother, the ballet dancer Jean-Sébastien Colau. For two months, the French cinema chain MK2 showed the documentary before every feature. He quit his job, joined a production company, and within six weeks was in Mongolia on assignment for Louis Vuitton. “They asked me to shoot videos and photos. …


Cutting straight to the heart of female stereotyping in photography


“I nominated Isabelle [for our January 2014 ‘Ones to Watch’ issue] because her work is intelligent, imaginative, original and very funny,” says Eugénie Shinkle, lecturer and author of Fashion as Photograph. “She has drawn together performance art, sculpture, fashion and still life, with some shrewd feminist commentary and a wonderful eye for colour thrown in for good measure. and it’s clear she’s not just riffing on these diverse influences – she really understands how to make them all make sense as a photograph.” This ability to get to the misogynist heart of popular culture using razor-sharp wit and measured intelligence is what makes Wenzel’s work stand out. In Positions, we see Wenzel clad in various fabrics, posing as a table. In different positions her bottom, her back and her heels become the table. Wenzel’s face is hidden; wrapped in chessboard pattern leggings, she becomes a colourful domestic fixture, an Allen Jones table, but with the woman struggling to twist free from the confines of her contorted body. “What attracts me to her work is the way …


All about his mother: Fashion photographer Charlie Engman’s maternal muse

Her eyes are closed and her mouth open, an open robe hanging from her shoulders. She holds in her hand the talons of a grey bird, its wings spread-eagle. A strange, flared light seems to emanate from her. She’s the mother of Charlie Engman, the man behind the camera. In a few short years, the 26-year-old, New York-based photographer has risen to become one of the hottest properties in fashion photography – the go-to guy for brands such as Urban Outfitters and Kenzo and magazines like Zero1, Dazed & Confused and The Cut. His photographs are ephemeral, angular and acute with colour – like a still from a fever-dream. Chicago-born Engman spends roughly half his time in Europe, shooting models for magazines and agencies. We meet in Camden Town, north London, on a burning hot day, an hour or so before another shoot. I find him staring at a topless guy with a beer belly goose-stepping in time to a boombox. “Welcome to Camden,” I say. He laughs. Engman spent his teens and early 20s as a contemporary dancer and painter. He studied …


Harley Weir – fashion’s hottest property

“I discovered Harley on a blog shortly after she’d left university,” says Chris McGuigan, who founded photography agency Mini Title three years ago. “She hadn’t been commissioned much and her portfolio was still quite raw, but I could tell she’d be a star.” He’s talking about 26-year-old Harley Weir, one of the agency’s earliest signings and now fashion photography’s hottest new talent. Weir graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2010 but really broke through in 2014, with back-to-back commissions from big names such as AnOther, i-D, Pop, Arena Homme+, Dazed & Confused, Bottega Veneta, Armani and Maison Martin Margiela. She’s been working so hard, in fact, she’s thinking about taking time out to “get back to what I first fell in love with”. “It can be difficult to keep sight of yourself when so many other people come in to play on commercial jobs,” she says. London-born Weir studied Fine Art and taught herself photography, using Flickr to showcase her work and initially dipping her toe into music photography before the fashion world came calling. …


Working Process

“Alexander McQueen’s exceptional collection, the most ambitious we have seen this season, was as much a slap in the face to his industry, then, as it was a brave statement about the absurdity of the race to build empires in fashion,” wrote The New York Times about the designer’s Autumn/Winter 2009 collection, which he presented in Paris. “The clothes he sent out were a parody of couture designs of the last century, spoofing Dior’s New Look and Givenchy’s little black Audrey Hepburn dresses, as well as their reinventions by new designers at those companies in the last decade – himself included. It was a bit of a Marie Antoinette riot, poking fun at all the queens of French fashion.” For McQueen, who is quoted as saying that the entire business was “such a cliché”, the goal with this particular collection was to show how quick the turnover in fashion was. “There is no longevity,” he told The New York Times. That was in March 2009 – a year before he took his own life at his home …


Belle Époque


The hats and scarves are a few steps away from the perfect shade of lipstick; the children’s department is on top of three floors dedicated to cutting-edge women’s fashion. Elegant lingerie, hardy cookware, bestselling books and plush linens – all of these must-haves can be found in the 70,000m2 of the consumer heaven that is Galeries Lafayette, one of France’s best-known department stores. First established in the 19th century, department stores have long inspired creatives. Emile Zola first published Au Bonheur des Dames (The Ladies’ Paradise) in 1883, for example (after its serialisation in the Gil Blas periodical), tracing the rise of a draper’s shop – from humble beginnings to Paris’s number one shopping destination. “By increasing sales tenfold, by making luxury democratic, shops were becoming a terrible agency for spending, ravaging households, working hand in hand with the latest extravagances in fashion, growing ever-more expensive,” wrote the French author. Those words still ring true 150 years later. So when Philippe Jarrigeon was asked to celebrate 25 years of innovation in fashion, the fantastic and …


BJP Staff